Updegrove also cites Jimmy Carter as the perfect example of post-presidential success. After losing the general election for a second-term to Ronald Reagan, the 39th president went on to establish the Carter Center in 1982 for the advancement of human rights. The nonprofit has played a part in resolving major conflicts in Haiti and North Korea, and in 2002 Carter became the only president to receive the Nobel Prize after leaving office.
Post-presidential life also has promise of profit. Along with a yearly pension (around $200,000) established by the 1958 Former Presidents Act, a number of former presidents have built post-White House careers thanks to speaking tours and book deals.
Bill Clinton received a $15 million advance for his autobiography "My Life," and, according to CNN, has made over $100 million on the lecture circuit since ending his term in 1999.
But it seems the biggest upside to a contemporary president's second act is not so much a growing bank account but a spike in approval ratings.
According to an April Gallup Poll, a president's retrospective approval ratings frequently exceed what they were during the president's term.
Updegrove credits this rise to the fact that it's easier for the public to see a president as a person once they leave office.
This seems to be the case with George W. Bush, who has enjoyed positive publicity as he focuses on his painting and philanthropic work since leaving the White House.
Whether it's philanthropy, a hobby or unfinished business, it's clear today's former presidents are hardly settling down.
"You know what the interesting lesson is though, that you can keep learning in life," Bush told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in April. "I mean, some guy one time said to me, 'Man, you deserve to rest.' And I don't wanna rest. I wanna live life to the -- I wanna ... you know, sprint into the grave."